Donna Gober

Senior Lecturer and Director of Wellness

Donna Gober

Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness


Ed.D., Lamar University


Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports
6000 Bush Ave., #013
Dallas, 75205



Dr. Donna Gober joined the faculty of the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the fall of 2008 after earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a cognate in Higher Education from Lamar University. She has been teaching full time in higher education for 22 years. Dr. Gober earned a Master of Science in Wellness with minors in Exercise Physiology and Counseling from the University of Mississippi while employed as a graduate instructor in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Gober was an elementary school teacher for seven years, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with specialization in Life/Earth Science from Lamar University in 1988. Her career as an educator spans 29 years and includes teaching appointments in four Texas school districts and three universities.

Dr. Gober has a dual appointment as Director of Wellness and teaches PRW I: Personal Responsibility and Wellness, and PRW-II and Choices II activity classes; power yoga and bench aerobics. She has been teaching fitness classes for 33 years and is certified in Group Exercise Leadership by the Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research. She originally joined the Wellness Department at SMU in 1998 as an instructor of wellness and fitness classes, and went on to accept a faculty position at Lamar University in the fall 2000 where she taught full time for more than eight years in the Department of Health & Kinesiology and was the Coordinator of the Health & Human Performance Laboratory for several years. Returning to the Wellness program and faculty at SMU was always a part of her long term plan. Her dissertation, entitled, The Effects of a One-Semester Wellness Course on Student Perceptions of Success in College, examined pre- and post-course results of student perceptions in wellness classes at SMU as measured by the College Success Factor Index (Hallberg, Hallberg, & Saur, 1993). Significant results were found in 5 of the 8 factors associated with success in college.

Dr. Gober serves as the academic advisor to Pi Beta Phi Sorority and as a member of the Faculty Senate, and chairs the Student Policies Committee. Previously, she served as a member of the University Curriculum Monitoring Committee, the Academic Policies Committee, the President's Commission on the Status of Women, and chair of the Student Learning Outcomes Revisions Committee. This year, Dr. Gober received the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Office of Engaged Learning. She is committed to providing a meaningful, student-centered approach to learning for students in her wellness courses. Her research interests include retention and attrition of college students, intervention programs for retention of minority and non-traditional students as well as traditional students, and holistic approaches to teaching, mentoring, advising, retaining and graduating college students. Health and wellness programs that address the subjective needs of the student and may aid students with transition and matriculation to the university are of primary interest as well.

During her career in higher education, Donna served on numerous committees and development teams. The most personally valued experiences are working with the exceptionally talented Wellness faculty at SMU, engaging students in the classroom, and serving as an advisor to student organizations. Developing professional relationships with students and helping them succeed in college, assisting them with career plans and graduate school, and seeing them flourish and grow is what fuels her passion for what she does.

Professional Certifications

Texas State Board of Education, Texas Teacher Certificate. (1) Life, Provisional Elementary, Grades 1-8, General. (2) Life, Provisional Elementary, Grades 1-8, Life/Earth Middle School Science.

Kenneth Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research, certified in Group Exercise Leadership (GEL). Cooper Center, Dallas, TX.

Gifted and Talented Endorsement, Texas Education Agency, completed 30 hours of staff development through Harlingen CISD and Beaumont ISD in 1990-1991.

Professional Development Affiliations

Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) Chair of the Health Division - Health Instructional Program Section, Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. 2005-2007.

Southwest Educator Research Association (SERA)